The Language of Anatomy, Sex, and Gender Fluidity – Not As Universal As We Need?

I’m having a bit of an issue with the English language. Primarily with how we use the words “He” or “She” in current western society.

DISCLAIMER: This is purely opinion, and not meant as an attack on anyone whatsoever, merely intending to point out a little issue we’re all having with communication.

I think the language being used to describe those of a transgender or gender fluid nature has, thus far, been greatly hindering the needed acceptance and understanding of such individuals, by themselves and others. Personally, I think that the uses of the words “gender” and “sex” are being greatly misused by many people. For example, I found this interesting little “infographic”  –

Great concept - but personally, way off the mark I think. The right should say "Anatomical Gender is..." and the left should say "Gender Identity is..." at least until we English speaking idiots can find a set of terms that clearly differentiates the two concepts for everyone.

I honestly don’t agree with this, as it’s written. I feel there is a BIG difference between “gender” and “gender identity” that needs to be clearly defined and used, and I feel this infographic isn’t doing that difference any justice. The word “gender” has been used for a very long time for determining the biological gender of creatures as having male or female anatomy. “Sex,” to me, is a verb that specifically refers to an act that is commonly known as “sexual intercourse.” “Sex” is basically short for “sexual intercourse.” I never agreed with it being used as a term to refer to anatomical gender (ie a person’s sex being male or female) or as the process of determining anatomical gender, like when chicken farmers “sex” the new chicks. That just sounds more like bestiality, and I dunno about you guys, but the whole visual of a tiny, cute little chick having a farmer’s pecker shoved in it’s… *shudder* That’s just gross. Seriously. That’s disgusting and disturbing. Don’t sex the chickens, farmers; gender the chickens.

I think that when it comes to sexual preference or personality, “gender” alone does not fit either case; “anatomical gender” & “gender identity” do somewhat fit. But only somewhat. Which means we need to find new language to be able to clearly define and separate the two concepts of “anatomical gender” and “gender identity.” I do not agree with just using gender tp equal gender identity and sex to equal anatomical gender;  when I have sex with my girlfriend/spouse and mention I did to a friend, I don’t need some smartass asking if it turned out to be male or female. The terms I’ve mentioned, though, still don’t quite work either, because they imply that masculine/feminine psychological outlooks, attitudes and behaviors are tied to male/female anatomy, when they are not. They can be influenced by societal conceptions of stereotypes that are based on anatomical gender, but gender identity itself is not locked in by anatomical constraints. If they were, there’d be no such thing as homosexuality or transgender.

There’s a big difference between being psychologically masculine/feminine and being anatomically male/female. I think that male/female should refer to your anatomy, whereas masculine/feminine should refer more to your psychology/personality/sexuality. Gender identity and personal aesthetics, I think, should be referred to in terms of being masculine and/or feminine rather than simply male/female, because it’s more dependent on psychology rather than actual anatomy, whereas actual anatomical gender should be refereed to as simply male/female. This especially goes for social interactions and impersonal “titles” like He/She. My personal opinion is that whether a person is specifically referred to as He or She should be dependant on anatomical gender, not gender identity. To use those two “titles” based on gender identity is just confusing people in general, especially with people who are gender fluid, and easily switch between or identify with both masculine and feminine psychologies.  And have you ever tried using “S/he” in casual conversation? How do you even pronounce that? I’ve tried, it just doesn’t work. It seriously bugs me.

This confusion has just been complicating things and causing a social rift between gender fluid/transsexual people and “mundanes,” for a lack of a better way to put it. A cat that acts like a dog & psychologically wants to be a dog is still a cat; That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the cat acting like a dog or being treated like a dog on a social interaction level; but when we take her to the vet, she’s still medically treated as a cat, regardless of her “identity” as a dog. As far as I’m concerned, the same goes for humans, for the most part. We humans have the medical prowess & technology to, to some extent, alter our biological gender; but why are we causing such confusion with our words and language, just because we identify with a stereotype or a gender identity that is not, in western society, commonly considered a “default” for our anatomical gender?

If you’re a guy but you want to be a woman or insist you’re a woman that was just “born in a man’s body,” that’s totally kewl with me.There’s an operation for that,  but be serious – wanting to become a woman and actually being one are two different things. If you’ve still got a shlong, putting on a low-cut mini-dress and 6-inch stiletto heels doesn’t magically mean you no longer have a shlong.

You may disagree with my viewpoint, and you’re welcome to, but if your a male saving up for a gender swap operation, until you’ve actually had that operation, you’re still a “he” in my books; I’ll keep calling you a “he” until that operation, no matter how damn feminine & sexy you look in a small tight miniskirt and tank top. Growing a nice rack isn’t what changes what’s down between your thighs. The same goes for me for women wishing to become men; if you don’t have any kind of man-bits, whether surgically constructed or not, and were born physically a girl, then you’re going to be called “she”by me.

If someone prefers to be masculine/feminine in their personality and behaviors, then I’ll respectfully treat them in the fashion they wish to be treated, regardless of anatomy; that doesn’t mean I’ll not call anatomical males “he” or anatomical females “she” based on their anatomical makeup rather than their gender identity.  Being insulted by my doing so, also, is just plain childish and silly to me.


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